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When might Michigan limit someone’s parental rights?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Family Law

In some ways, parenting is the most natural relationship in the world. Most adults with the right support networks are able to effectively meet the needs of the children in their care. However, parenting does not necessarily come naturally to everyone, necessitating state intervention in some cases.

Occasionally, parents may face criminal charges because of alleged abuse or neglect of the children in their care. Other times, the state might seek to terminate someone’s parental rights by establishing that they are an unfit parent. Allegations of being an unfit parent could affect the outcome of litigated custody cases in the Michigan family courts.

What makes someone an unfit parent according to the state of Michigan?

Unfit parents don’t meet children’s needs

An unfit parent is someone who is unwilling to meet the needs of their children or incapable of doing so. People who are very kind and loving parents may technically be unfit to parent alone in some cases. Someone with extreme medical challenges and no spouse or other close family members to support them could become an unfit parent due to their medical issues. If they cannot feed their children, get them to school and otherwise handle their daily needs, the state could view that parent as unfit.

Unfit parents are capable of harming their children

Other times, people become unfit parents due to misconduct. Someone who has exposed children to dangerous drugs, engaged in violent conduct toward the children or otherwise endangered their health and well-being could face allegations of being an unfit parent.

Oftentimes, such claims begin with issues brought to light by mandated reporters, such as school teachers and medical professionals. The state can terminate the parental rights of an unfit parent. Occasionally, the complaints of one parent might lead to the courts taking legal action against the other or granting the complaining parent more parenting time and authority.

Anyone facing either a litigated custody matter or an investigation by state authorities related to their parenting may require support. Those who acquire appropriate help may find it easier to navigate complicated family law scenarios, such as situations in which one parent cannot meet the needs of their children. Additionally, understanding when the state might intervene in family matters can help parents who might be at risk of losing their parental rights.